Many personal injury cases can take time to get to trial. Attorneys must do groundwork in investigating and negotiating with the other parties before a case makes it onto the court’s busy schedule. Many cases settle before trial; others are placed in the hands of a jury.
Evidence was presented to a Solano County jury recently during a 21-day trial regarding an accident that killed two children and left other victims injured. The jury deliberated for roughly three days before handing down their verdict in favor of survivors of a terrible head-on car accident that occurred November 17, 2006 at around 6:30 p.m. The jury found the driver of an SUV, who was later convicted of second degree murder and Caltrans responsible for the injury producing and fatal car accident.
A 37-year-old San Francisco man is serving 23 years to life in prison in relation to the 2006 crash. A separate civil suit was also filed against the man who says he fell asleep at the wheel prior to the accident. The man worked as a sous chef and says exposure to carbon dioxide fumes earlier in the day at work caused him to fall asleep.
Witnesses say the man pulled into oncoming traffic in a no-passing zone to pass a big-rig. While attempting to pass a second tractor trailer, the man’s SUV slammed into the Toyota carrying four people.
The victims of the accident and their representatives also sued the state for failing to install proper safety equipment, such as a median barrier along Highway 12 where the accident occurred. The plaintiffs argued Caltrans should have been aware of the dangers along that part of the roadway due to the high number of previous car accidents involving injuries and fatalities that have occurred dating back to 1994.
A portion of Highway 12, between Suisun and Shiloh Road has a median barrier. No median barrier exists between Suisun and Rio Vista where the 2006 and reportedly numerous other car accidents have occurred.
The jury found the SUV driver 65 percent at fault and Caltrans 35 percent responsible in their multi-million dollar verdict.
Source: Suisun City Patch, “Civil Jury Awards $29 Million For Crash On Highway 12,” 20 Jul 2011